Garrett Pfeifer was an athlete for all seasons during his first two years at Gilman, playing football, lacrosse and wrestling. As a junior, Pfeifer decided to scale back, giving up football to concentrate on lacrosse and wrestling.
"I thought the time in the weight room would get me stronger," Pfeifer said.
He earned a starting job as a defender in lacrosse and, after a standout junior season, accepted a scholarship to Division I Monmouth College in New Jersey.
Now, the senior is reaping a similar reward in wrestling in the 182-pound weight class.
"For him to place in every tournament we have gone to is huge," Gilman coach Bryn Holmes said.
Pfeifer won the Bear Cave Brawl Tournament in northern Virginia, placed second in the Ray Oliver Invitational and took third at Mount Mat Madness.
He also got off to a strong start in the postseason, finishing second in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association tournament on Saturday at Mount St. Joseph.
Pfeifer now will turn his attention to the Maryland Independent Schools state tournament Friday and Saturday at McDonogh, and National Preps in Pennsylvania a week later.
He placed fourth in the state last year at 170 to qualify for National Preps at Lehigh University.
"I got my best finish in the MIAAs," said Pfeifer, who took fourth as a junior and sophomore. "I think it will carry over to states and hopefully to National Preps, where I could place high."
St. Mary's junior Bryce Pappas scored an 11-4 decision over Pfeifer (19-4) in the MIAA final. Pappas also beat Pfeifer, 4-2, nine days earlier in a tri-meet.
"I wrestled a tough match," Pfeifer said of the championship when he fell behind 7-1. "Even though I got down, I didn't give up. I can come back and wrestle him at states. Hopefully, a third time will be a charm."
Holmes thinks Pfeifer's offseason work has paid off.
"He is wrestling a lot tougher this year," Holmes said. "And his technique has gotten a lot better. Being a senior, I know he feels the pressure of it being his last hurrah. He understands the importance of every day. I feel that has paid off for him."
Freshman Braeden Alevizatos (5th, 120) and senior Sam Wancowicz (6th, 170) also placed in the MIAAs for Gilman.
Boys' Latin had its best showing in the MIAA tournament in five years, placing six wrestlers. The Lakers finished eighth among 17 teams.
Sophomores Kahlan Lee-Lermer (3rd, 106, 35-4) and Nick Malinowski (3rd, 113, 32-6), seniors Hunter Cotsoradis (6th, 126, 32-9) and Evan Dohler (3rd, 170, 33-5) and juniors Anthony Wyler (3rd, 145, 19-9) and Rocco Bruno (5th, 160, 29-6) posted top finishes for Boys' Latin.
"We won the Overlea Invitational, which was big for us," Boys' Latin coach Drew Haugh said. "We upset Oakland Mills. We wanted to keep the momentum going and we did."
Of the six Lakers who placed, Haugh said Wyler had the most "exciting tournament."
Wyler scored five points in the last 10 seconds to score an 11-8 decision over John Carroll's Steven Jernigan in the consolation semifinals.
Wyler then beat Archbishop Spalding's Mike Pearson, 6-3, in the consolation final.
"He is probably our most dynamic wrestler," Haugh said of Wyler, who won the Overlea Invitational. "He never stops. He is constantly go, go, go."